Jennifer Ward-Lealand

Since training at Auckland’s influential Theatre Corporate, Jennifer has worked extensively in theatre, film, television, musical and radio for over 35 years.

Jennifer was a founding board member of the Watershed Theatre and a co-founder of The Large Group and The Actors’ Program. She is currently President of New Zealand Actors Equity, Patron of Q Theatre, and serves as a trust board member of Arts Regional Trust , Silo Theatre, Clarence St Theatre Trust, and Actors Benevolent Fund. In the 2007 New Years Honours List, she was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre and the community.

Jennifer’s journey in te reo Māori began in 2008 at the Kura Pa at Pakenga, Unitec. Since then she has studied at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (Te Arataki Manu Kōrero 2012, Te Aupikitanga ki te Reo Kairangi 2013, Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi 2016) and at Te Wānanga Aronui o Tamaki-makau-rau/ AUT (Te Pihinga 2014, Te Māhuri 2015)

On stage her work includes THE GOAT, THAT FACE, BERLIN, BREL (Metro Magazine’s #1 Cultural Experience 2012), THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING (Best Ensemble & Excellence Awards, Auckland Theatre Awards 2015) for Silo Theatre, TWELFTH NIGHT, LE SUD, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, THE HERETIC and LYSISTRATA for Auckland Theatre Company, RITA AND DOUGLAS for Armstrong Creative and BETWEEN THE SHEETS and LUNCHEON at the Basement.

Jennifer’s film work includes The Footstep Man, Desperate Remedies, The Ugly, FRACTURE and Linda’s BODY. Television includes Full Frontal, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Shortland Street, Duggan, Interrogation, Auckland Daze, THE almighty Johnsons ,The Good Word and Dirty Laundry.

Theatre directing credits include. Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris and THE Mystery of Irma Vep for Silo Theatre, Tic Tic for Strata Creative, The Last Five Years and Fallout: The sinking of the Rainbow Warrior for Last Tapes Theatre Company, THE CHOICE for The Blue Baths in Rotorua and most recently the remount of HUDSON & HALLS for Silo.

Jennifer devised and performed the cabarets FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN featuring the songs of Marlene Dietrich, and THE LOOK OF LOVE which she has toured extensively throughout New Zealand, and in Australia. She works regularly as a voice over artist and can be heard as the character of DORABLE DUCK on the children’s television series BUZZY BEE.


Joanne Shelford. MBA. (Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Kahu)

A co-founder of Te Reo Tuatahi Joanne has had a life long commitment to supporting the revitilisation, and promotion of Te Reo Māori.

She holds a Bachelor of Te Reo Māori from Te Ara Poutama at AUT, has attended Te Ataarangi and currently attends Te Whare Tāhuhu Kōrero o Hauraki.

When approached by Raewyn Harrison at the beginning of the Te Reo Tuatahi kaupapa Joanne could see the strength in the concept of this programme and immediately saw it as a potential to normalise and encourage the use of Te Reo Māori for all.


Wayne (Buck) Shelford. MBE. (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Ruanui)

A well known public figure, no-nonsense, straight talker ex-All Black captain, Wayne has been involved in may community services. After a great rugby career at many levels one of his passions is for the support of the revitilisation Te Reo Māori.

Hiis own journey with Te Reo started as a young serviceman in the Royal New Zealand Navy. As well as joining the Te Reo Heramana kapahaka group he supported his young family in the Kohanga Reo movement.

In 2010 Wayne started his own journey with Te Reo and joined Te Ataarangi. Like all his endeavours Wayne is focused and committed and always brings clarity and strength of insight to goals going forward. He strives every day to support the language and when asked to become an ambassador for Te Reo Tuatahi, Wayne had no hesitation in accepting the role. He believes that the Te Reo Tuatahi programme has an integral part to play in the normalising and the promotion of Te Reo Māori.

Kia kaha.